The top stories of 2021: Q1
We'll start with the main events of the first three months of the year and we'll cover the next quarters in the following episodes of the series.
The first quarter of the year was transformative and shaped a lot of 2021. Qualcomm had just announced its Snapdragon 888 in the last month of 2020, and the first phones with the new flagship chipset came out at the turn of 2021.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 pioneered the SD888, but notable phones with Qualcomm's new silicon included the Mi 11 Pro, the Redmi K40 Pro+, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, Mi Mix Fold, vivo's X60 Pro+, Oppo's Find X3 Pro, the Asus Rog Phone 5, 5 Pro and 5 Ultimate, the nubia Red Magic 6 and the Realme GT.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra made big waves thanks to a new design that featured a massive camera bump on the rear. It turned out the size was warranted by the imaging hardware Xiaomi crammed in - the largest sensor used in a smartphone (to this day), as well as capable 5x zoom and ultrawide cameras.
Samsung's flagship chip came out in Q1 as well and powered some of the regional versions of the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra, which were also officialized in this quarter. The Ultra brought refinement to the Galaxy Ultra formula with an LTPO AMOLED that was able to dynamically change screen refresh rates, ultimately leading to stellar battery performance.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also more than doubled the optical zoom reach of its predecessor with a 10x periscope.
Samsung's extremely-popular Galaxy A52, A52 5G, and A72 were all unveiled in Q1, bringing high refresh rate displays (120Hz for the 5G, 90Hz for the others), a colorful and simple matte design, big batteries, and solid cameras.
Xiaomi's sub-brands Poco and Redmi had popular releases in Q1 - the Poco X3 Pro and F3 came out with Snapdragon 860 and 870, respectively, while the Redmi Note 10 series were popular throughout 2021.
Xiaomi's first foldable, the Mi Mix Fold was very promising, but ultimately never made it out of China. Huawei also revealed its second foldable - the Mate X2 combined a fresh new in-folding design with powerful cameras, but ultimately its lack of Google apps made it a poor showing outside China.
OnePlus stuck to a single flagship for the entire year. The OnePlus 9 Pro and 9 arrived in Q1 with Hasselblad-branded cameras. But despite the strong name recognition that came with the new cameras, their performance was at the time subpar to the competition from Samsung and Apple. OnePlus has made strides in image quality through firmware updates in the months since.
While Q1 was early for iPhone 13 solid rumors, there was one that aged like wine - brought on by Japanese blog MacOtakara, it said that the iPhone 13 Pro would have the same design as the 12, but be thicker (thanks to larger batteries) and have a smaller notch. That rumor materialized in Q3.
Those were the key stories of Q1. Below you can find the entire list of major announcements, rumors, and other articles. Next up - Q2.
The A52 5G has a 120Hz display, the other two get 90Hz ones.
The phone features 67W wireless fast charging developed in house, which can fully fill the battery in 36 minutes.
It's powered by the Snapdragon 888 SoC, packs a 120Hz screen, and features a periscope camera.
Both phones come with 33W fast charging and the proprietary charger in the box.
Three phones with AMOLED screens and one that makes 5G attainable.
Same between the two models that is, but not far from the S20 triple setup either.
The display can do 120Hz at the full 1440p+ resolution for the first time on a Samsung phone. The two tele cams are 10x periscope and 3x lens.
The three phones have the same display - a 6.7" Samsung E4 AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate.
The internal OLED display measures 8" in size (4:3), the external display is 6.5" (27:9). The phone is powered by the S888 and has a desktop mode.
Hopefully, the handset will go outside of China because it looks really nice.
There is no charger in the retail box but Xiaomi will give one for free if you ask nicely.
The vivo X60 Pro offers better cameras, more RAM, but smaller battery.
It will power the budget 5G Androids of 2021.
The CPU promises a 30% boost in multi-core performance compared to the Exynos 990, 40% on the GPU and a more efficient NPU.
The phone also has two telephoto lenses - a 5x periscope and a 2x portrait lens. Also, new image processing algorithms to run on the S888 chipset.
The 1200 runs its Cortex-A78 core at 3.0 GHz, which promises a solid single-core performance upgrade over the Dimensity 1000+.
The sensor can output 12-bit HDR, has a low-noise mode, which boosts sensitivity in low light, and an improved autofocus system.
And it has a mid-range 3x telephoto lens as well. The two screens have 90 Hz refresh rate, the inner one is almost square, the outer one is 21:9.
Otherwise it's an identical phone to the Find X3 Pro.
The flagship has a Snapdragon 888 chipset and an LTPO display with 5-120Hz adaptive refresh rate.
The Ultimate is one of the first smartphone to be loaded with 18 GB of RAM. It and the Pro have secondary displays on the back.
Yet another Mi 10 member was announced in China.
Huawei Mate 40E 5G announced with Kirin 990E and 90Hz curved screen, Mate 40 RS Porsche Design gets a new variant
Both phones will go on sale in China next week.
Up to 18GB RAM and 512GB storage on the Transparent Edition Red Magic 6 Pro.
This is builds on ISOCELL Plus, which Samsung calls Phase 1. ISOCELL 2.0 is Phase 2 and will allow smaller pixels to perform better.
The most surprising feature is the return of the 3.5mm audio jack.
The two phones are quite similar to the Realme 7 and 7 Pro. The 8 Pro has a far better camera, but little else has changed (not even the chipset).
The 9 Pro flaunts a bespoke Sony sensor, Fluid Display 2.0 and support for the new Warp Charge 50 Wireless charger.
The Pro+ is nowhere to be seen yet. As for the other two, there are changes to the chipset, OS and camera.
The company’s new technology would let you charge a device while you’re using it or walking around.
The oldest phone on the list is the Redmi Note 7, introduced two years ago.
For non-EU users, it is either this or deleting your account.
That said, it's not perfect, issues have been reported.
Also, a slight change in the camera bump is to be expected.
The power cell will be silicon-oxygen, while the chip is likely an ISP for the liquid lens.
Huawei’s next smartphone has a very interesting looking camera setup.
Concise lists of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the three new flagships compared against each other.
It looks nothing like the Mi 11's.
The middle child in the Mi 11 family is here.
It has a triple ISP and an NPU that is almost as fast as that in the 865/870. It features Kryo 670 CPU and Adreno 642 GPU.
The P50 series will have a characteristic camera bump with two prominent circles - but what is inside those circles? These renders purport to show that.
Update availability will vary depending on your region and carrier.
Looking for a webcam for video calls? You can probably skip that and get a better experience if you just use your smartphone.
Users have to resort to third-party app distributors like CoolAPK or APKPure.
OnwardMobility is working with Foxconn to develop and build the phones. The primary focus will be on security.
It uses all three states of the matter - solid, liquid and gas.
The rollout was announced last month, and is finally hitting 31 countries.
Unsurprisingly, it's going to be very affordable.
It's expected to arrive as Galaxy F62 in some markets.
The reason is unclear for now.
Both are rumored to arrive in mid-March.
The new policy includes the Z, S, Note, A, M, XCover and Tab series.
It's rumored to cost INR2,499 ($35/€30).
After looking into the performance of the two chipsets, we decided to move on to some differential battery comparisons, as well.
Designed for use on tablets and notebooks.
That’s the very same panel, used on the Oppo Find X3 series.
Looking at the features and the performance of the PlayStation 5, and how it compares to its extremely successful predecessor
The film has been delayed to almost two years after its original debut date.
- 27 Dec 2021
No removable battery, no buy.
- 26 Dec 2021
No resistive touch display no buy
- 25 Dec 2021
No xenon flash,no buy